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'Oil Can' admits to using cocaine throughout '86 season

The SportsXchange

Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd said he used crack cocaine every day during the 1986 baseball season while with the Boston Red Sox, including one start when he hid the drug in his cap while pitching.

In an interview with ESPN's Buster Olney, Boyd said his teammates knew of his drug use that season and said he talked about it with team doctor and minority owner Art Pappas.

"I would come into the ballpark, (Pappas) would call me in the back and he ask me, 'How you feel? Did you do some last night?' And I was honest with him, 'Yes I did,'" said Boyd, who pitched eight of his 10 major league seasons with the Red Sox. "OK. So that was my drug test, you got me? Ain't nobody made me pee in no cup."

Boyd said he felt that he wasn't tested because he was honest about what he did, and that he was effective on the mound.

"I'm killing myself, but they loved my ability and my talent ... so they condoned it."

Boyd, whose autobiography, "They Call Me Oil Can: Baseball, Drugs, and Life on the Edge" is due out in June, specially told Olney of a May 11, 1986 start at Oakland, when he smoked crack before taking the mound.

"I get to the ballpark, all the ballplayers are on the field, you know, taking batting practice and everythin'. And I walk in the clubhouse and I -- I got my pipe with me," he said. "I can remember going and locking myself up in the bathroom and smoking some dope right there at the ballpark. I was afraid that they knew and that the clubhouse manager had smelled it, he was gonna tell on me. So I gotta get rid of it.

"I had it under the bib of my cap, inside the crease inside of the cap. And when I was warming up in the ballgame -- third, fourth inning -- it fell off my head."

Boyd won a career-high 16 games in 1986 with a 3.78 ERA, helping the Red Sox win the American League pennant.

After starting 35 games in 1985 and 30 in 1986, Boyd made a total of 40 starts for the Red Sox over the next three seasons, with a 5.24 ERA. He signed with the Montreal Expos as a free agent before the 1990 season and was traded to the Rangers in 1991, his final season.

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